The resale market is projected to reach 51 billion dollars in the next five years, according to a recent report from ThredUp, and fashion retailers are diving into this growing market. Last week, the H&M Group announced an e-commerce trial of secondhand sales for its & Other Stories brand, and now Neiman Marcus has become the first luxury department store to invest in the trend.
The American retailer acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile. Founded in 1999, Fashionphile is becoming a leader in buying and selling luxury pre-owned handbags and accessories.
With its investment, Neiman Marcus will bring Fashionphile's digital inventory of 15,000 items to its own shoppers, hoping to incentivize its existing consumer base to participate in the purchase of pre-owned items.
“Over half our customers already engage in pre-owned luxury, and this exclusive partnership exemplifies our commitment to providing our customers with services and offerings they want and need," Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a statement. "With Fashionphile, we will engage with customers participating in the secondary market and introduce Neiman Marcus to younger and aspirational shoppers already devoted to luxury brands.”
Not all luxury brands support the growing resale trend
While ThredUp found that consumers are tending more towards shopping secondhand as a way to support ethical consumption, some brands are wary of what resale means to the value exclusivity of luxury items.
When Chanel filed a lawsuit against popular online consignment shop The RealReal, accusing it of selling fake handbags, The RealReal countered that Chanel felt threatened by its business. In its retort, The RealReal called Chanel's claims "anti-consumer" and "anticompetitive." It stated that Chanel's goal with the lawsuit was merely to “undermine consumer confidence in the secondary market."
Image from Neiman Marcus/ Fashionphile press release